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Islam

Sim

Registered Member
Lifted from other thread:
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Christianity is a plural religion, which means everyone on earth is equal and they have the right to pick and choose.

Islam on the other hand is not plural and all men on earth are not equal and they cannot pick and choose. Thus, there are no contradictions.

Many Christians can't comprehend that Islam is not plural but look at the implications.
Islam is maybe not as plural as Christianity is, but it is much more plural than you make it believe. The different Muslim interpretations and emphasis on Quran rules, as well as on Sunna and Sharia, are extremely plural. It reaches from strict orthodox interpretations (à la Saudi Arabia) over modern fundamentalist interpretations (à la Iran) to liberal, lenient interpretations (à la Turkey). You got very different views between Sunnis, Shias and Wahabites as well. Also, not all Muslim believers are equally serious about their religion: Just like in Christianity, many believers don't really give religion a dominant importance in their lives, and even more just pick those elements they like.

The myth Islam is a monolithic block and generally violent and evil is nothing but hateful propaganda that is supposed to make it easier to hate Muslims and look down on them, and I don't think doing that is very Christian (or it is, in which case that wouldn't be suited to let Christians appear in a good light).
 
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JaneSmith

Registered Member
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Islam is maybe not as plural as Christianity is, but it is much more plural than you make it believe. The different Muslim interpretations and emphasis on Quran rules, as well as on Sunna and Sharia, are extremely plural. It reaches from strict orthodox interpretations (à la Saudi Arabia) over modern fundamentalist interpretations (à la Iran) to liberal, lenient interpretations (à la Turkey). You got very different views between Sunnis, Shias and Wahabites as well. Also, not all Muslim believers are equally serious about their religion: Just like in Christianity, many believers don't really give religion a dominant importance in their lives, and even more just pick those elements they like.

The myth Islam is a monolithic block and generally violent and evil is nothing but hateful propaganda that is supposed to make it easier to hate Muslims and look down on them, and I don't think doing that is very Christian (or it is, in which case that wouldn't be suited to let Christians appear in a good light).
Ummm, no. Islam is not plural. No, Islam is not like Christianity. Islam is a 24/7 religion, and yes, Muslims do have their lives ruled by Islam.
I don't care if you are Christian or not, Islam does preach violence and that is a way of life. Of course it's difficult for Christians to understand this concept because well... they are Christian.

I work in counter terrorism and this isn't an opinion. It is factual that Islam is quite different than Christianity. Unfortunately Western thinkers aren't getting the concepts of difference and there is a level of danger that we will realize very soon. I am an expert on Islam and your assumptions are incorrect.
 

Sim

Registered Member
Ummm, no. Islam is not plural. No, Islam is not like Christianity. Islam is a 24/7 religion, and yes, Muslims do have their lives ruled by Islam.
I don't care if you are Christian or not, Islam does preach violence and that is a way of life. Of course it's difficult for Christians to understand this concept because well... they are Christian.

I work in counter terrorism and this isn't an opinion. It is factual that Islam is quite different than Christianity. Unfortunately Western thinkers aren't getting the concepts of difference and there is a level of danger that we will realize very soon. I am an expert on Islam and your assumptions are incorrect.
Either you are not an expert on Islam, or you cannot make such broad generalizations. I agree that Islam is different from Christianity. And I agree that there are quite a few Muslims who are violent, and who justify their violence with their religion. That is a problem, and I agree that there is no such kind of extremism that remotely resembles radical islamism within Christianity. I maybe also agree that Islam is a religion that makes secular demands much more difficult than other religions, and that is suggests violence much more than other religions.

Yet Islam in general is not the problem. I live in Berlin, Germany, and among my friends and acquaintances are half a dozen Muslims, even more I superficially know. I know first hand that being Muslim is not incompatible with Western values and secularism, and even less necessarily leading to a justification of extremist violence. Not one single one of the Muslims I talked about it with did not unconditionally condemn islamist terrorism. None of them demanded the introduction of Sharia law. Some hold rather wacky views on sexual morals, and some have rather unpleasant views on gender roles, though, but that's nothing that fundamentally makes them different from many non-Muslims. Also, except for one or two of them, religion does not even play an important role in their lives, except they sometimes pray, fast in Ramadan and don't eat pork. They don't go to a mosque often, and have hardly ever read Quran (some were surprised I knew more about it then them, having read it). Two or three of them are probably not even Muslim believers, but just formally Muslim atheists who just respect some habits and holidays because it's tradition.

It's en vogue these days, as we are facing the genuine threat of islamist extremism and terrorism, to hate Islam in general. Islamophobia is the new anti-Semitism (yes, it is not any more justified: A few real criminals and assholes are used to condemn an entire group of people, while broad generalizations serve as a catalyst). People like to make bold statements all Muslims in general are like this or that, violent, hateful, extremist, and many buy it, because they only focus on the bad examples, while they don't even recognize the well-integrated co-worker who perfectly speaks German and is not extremist at all as a Muslim. Or they buy it, because they know next to nothing about Muslims, hardly ever talked with Muslims, never bothered to learn anything about the culture of these people, let alone religion. If they did that, they'd see there is more to Islam than just that stereotype.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying the problem with islamist extremism does not exist. It does exist, and it is considerable. In a poll, 21% of the Muslims in Germany said their faith is not compatible with the Constitution. So when one out of five Muslims is a potential extremist, that indeed is a big problem. But let's not forget the remaining four out of five.

I have a problem with broad generalizations that are a disrespectful kick right in the face of my Muslim friends who are not like that at all. And it discourages those Muslims living here who do the best to fit it -- when we don't accept and respect them, even after they have gone through very harsh hassles to adopt and fit in, and still we ostracize them and make all kinds of unjust accusations -- what incentive do they still have then to even try?

Also, once you declare an entire religion with a billion followers evil, this doesn't strike me as very helpful. That is because it severely limits the room for options. Basically, if you think it to the end, there is not much you can do, if they really are thoroughly evil, than genocide. I hope we all agree this is not an option. That's why just saying they are evil won't help at all. At least a peaceful coexistence must be possible, there is no other option. And generally calling that entire religion evil will not help us to build those ties which are necessary to achieve that.
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JaneSmith

Registered Member
Sim, unless you've lived in dar ul Islam or dar ul Harb it doesn't matter how many Muslim friends you have. The important questions for Muslims to answer is if they support the Palestinian cause and if they consider all men equal. The answer is yes, they support Palestine (the right of return lies with Jordan not Israel) and no, Muslims are superior to any other religion therefore there will always be conflict on both counts. Until there is reform in those areas we can expect Islamic terrorism from moderates and extremists which are Western terms to allow us compensate, these are not Islamic terms.

Sorry to go off topic about Islam. It's quite typical that the argument reverts to comparison with Christianity which has nothing to do with one another. Nor helps the problem.

sites with good real info on Islamic terrorism come from someone who as a Christian grew up in Pakistan and the other is someone who was recruited in the early stages of dar ul Harb movement.
www.centerforstrategicanalysis.org and www.spygarden.com
 

Sim

Registered Member
Sim, unless you've lived in dar ul Islam or dar ul Harb it doesn't matter how many Muslim friends you have. The important questions for Muslims to answer is if they support the Palestinian cause and if they consider all men equal. The answer is yes, they support Palestine (the right of return lies with Jordan not Israel) and no, Muslims are superior to any other religion therefore there will always be conflict on both counts. Until there is reform in those areas we can expect Islamic terrorism from moderates and extremists which are Western terms to allow us compensate, these are not Islamic terms.

Sorry to go off topic about Islam. It's quite typical that the argument reverts to comparison with Christianity which has nothing to do with one another. Nor helps the problem.

sites with good real info on Islamic terrorism come from someone who as a Christian grew up in Pakistan and the other is someone who was recruited in the early stages of dar ul Harb movement.
www.centerforstrategicanalysis.org and www.spygarden.com
Jane,

thank you very much for the links. They certainly point to one element of the picture, and although they are lurid and sensationalist, they probably contain useful information concerning the problem of islamist terrorism.

But I have the impression you have not understood what I was trying to say and thus you are missing the point. Maybe that is because you are so concerned what the religion of Islam allegedly teaches and how the clerics interpret it, that you fail to see the diversity among the people who consider themselves "Muslims", and the diversity of the many different countries and cultures where people considering themselves "Muslims" are a majority.

So I'll try to reword it: While the things you say, the distinction between dar ul Islam and dar ul Harb, are indeed part of certain orthodox and fundamentalist ideologies -- maybe even of "the Islam" in general --, I know with 100% certainty that many of those who call themselves "Muslim" don't share such a drastic view on members of other religions and/or atheists.

You may say they aren't really Muslims then. Fine, let's not bicker about words -- if that's the case, then a majority of the people who call themselves "Muslims" are not really Muslims.

Ever talked with Turkish people? Do you know many there believe women should be prohibited from wearing headscarfs in public institutions? Do you know that many there preach strict laizism, a separation of state and religion?

Do you know that although Turkey's law system is based on Sharia too, its interpretations are so lenient and liberal that the EU considers it compatible with Western law standards?

Do you know that many Muslim countries, even when they aren't free republics by Western standards, don't legally distinguish between dar ul Islam and dar ul Harb?

And do you know that many who call themselves "Muslim" don't really think that religion is so important, don't practize their religion very often and often don't even know about its basic tenets -- let alone about the distinction between dar ul Islam and dar ul harb?

Maybe you are right and Islam in general is the problem. But I know well that Muslims in general aren't.


If you want to read a sober view from a refreshing perspective on this "clash of civilizations" extremist hate preachers on both sides desperately want to become reality, you should read this book:

Le rendez-vous des civilisations: Amazon.fr: Youssef Courbage, Emmanuel Todd: Livres

"Le rendez-vous des civilisations", "The rendez-vous of civilizations" by French sociologist Emmanuel Todd (I tried to find an English translation but without success; maybe you are more lucky. Or, if you speak French, you can read the original):

He diligently backs up the observation that modernization is progressing rapidly to reform and modernize Muslim countries already, with many demographic statistics and sociological theories. There is a huge demographic transformation going on in many Muslim countries, and islamist extremism is not more than a rearguard action of a traditionalism that's on retreat and will soon be crushed by the power of education expansion and demographic shifts. And compared to what happened in other countries, especially in the West, when similar demographic shifts took place, the problems we see in Muslim countries these days with religiously motivated violence are still tame.

It's really a good read, and might help you to get your head out of the fixation with islamist ideology, in order to see what more is going on in predominantly "Muslim" societies (because, although religion is important for people in Muslim countries, that's by far not the only thing that influences their attitudes and behavior. That's one mistake strong Christian believers often make about Muslims: Just because religion is most important for them, they assume it is for all Muslims as well, which simply isn't the case).
 

JaneSmith

Registered Member
Sim, that is correct. The issue is Islamic theology.
Again, you cannot speak for Muslims and what they believe, they will tell you themselves and if you listen carefully it's not what you are hearing.
 

Sim

Registered Member
Look the emphasis I add:

Sim, that is correct. The issue is Islamic theology.
Again, you cannot speak for Muslims and what they believe, they will tell you themselves and if you listen carefully it's not what you are hearing.
The Muslims will tell you all the same, they are not individuals but brainwashed zombies, like the Borgs from Star Trek, who don't have any individuality at all, but are mere puppets of the brainwashed religion they believe in?

I think it's obvious for everybody you are broadly generalizing here. You cannot talk about the Muslims, as if they are a monolithic block. They are individuals. They are human beings.

By taking their individuality, and lumping them all together, you take their humanity from them. That's how all kinds of bigotry and chauvinism work: You broadly generalize and lump all people of one group together, and take their humanity from them. The Jews. The blacks. The Americans. The Christians. They. Obviously not like us.

Such kind of thinking directly leads into the ovens of Auschwitz, and this will inevitably happen again when we don't stop the islamophobic hatred. It's so bad already that people rally against building places of worship and burn books. And where they burn books, they will also, in the end, burn human beings.


This effect is well researched, btw:

Out-group homogeneity bias - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Again, you cannot speak for Muslims and what they believe...
Btw, this is especially funny: You are not Muslim, yet you speak for them all the time. You have even started a website to speak for Muslims. And you claim to know much better what they think and believe than they do themselves.

Think about that for a moment.

I told you I did listen to Muslims, and told you what I hear is much different from what you claim they say. You just brush it off. Why?
 
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konboye

Registered Member
Sim, yeah, most of the time you do make valid points, but when it comes to Islam you are wrong. Islam is so violent, and one-dimensional its scary. Its either you join them or you die, do whatever they want or you die. Now in Nigeria, Muslims generally occupy the North of Nigeria and the Christians are mostly in the South. Of course, there are Muslims in the South and vice versa. But the Christians up North suffer religious persecution whenever the Muslims feel like giving it to them, in a manner of speaking. They would attack Christian churches and settlements in the North by night, kill any Christian that is unlucky to be in their territory whenever they feel like showing solidarity for their Islamic counterpart in Afghanistan or somewhere else. Its just crazy. Meanwhile, the Muslims in the south live in peace all year round without fear. I live in the South, and I know what I am talking about. I wouldn't even live in a community full of Muslims, because you never know what might enrage them or who they might want to blow up next. JaneSmith is spot on when it comes to these issues, she is the expert right? Islam is just a peaceful religion that mankind has misinterpreted to suit their purposes.
 
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ExpectantlyIronic

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I'm not sure what people are getting at here. The fact of the matter is that there are peaceful Muslims and militant Muslims. I doubt many would deny that. To say that Islam is essentially this-or-that, is just so much rhetoric.
 

JaneSmith

Registered Member
Look the emphasis I add:



The Muslims will tell you all the same, they are not individuals but brainwashed zombies, like the Borgs from Star Trek, who don't have any individuality at all, but are mere puppets of the brainwashed religion they believe in?

I think it's obvious for everybody you are broadly generalizing here. You cannot talk about the Muslims, as if they are a monolithic block. They are individuals. They are human beings.

By taking their individuality, and lumping them all together, you take their humanity from them. That's how all kinds of bigotry and chauvinism work: You broadly generalize and lump all people of one group together, and take their humanity from them. The Jews. The blacks. The Americans. The Christians. They. Obviously not like us.

Such kind of thinking directly leads into the ovens of Auschwitz, and this will inevitably happen again when we don't stop the islamophobic hatred. It's so bad already that people rally against building places of worship and burn books. And where they burn books, they will also, in the end, burn human beings.


This effect is well researched, btw:

Out-group homogeneity bias - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Btw, this is especially funny: You are not Muslim, yet you speak for them all the time. You have even started a website to speak for Muslims. And you claim to know much better what they think and believe than they do themselves.

Think about that for a moment.

I told you I did listen to Muslims, and told you what I hear is much different from what you claim they say. You just brush it off. Why?
I've already answered your question. Unless you have yourself been inside dar ul Islam or dar ul Harb you cannot understand the theology.
An outside perspective is just that, an outside perspective and opinion.

I have lived in both for over 40 years. So that's like you going to the zoo and telling a caged tiger what it's like to be a tiger. But what's important about that is most Westerners think the same way you do without knowing what I know.

Are we there yet?
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I'm not sure what people are getting at here. The fact of the matter is that there are peaceful Muslims and militant Muslims. I doubt many would deny that. To say that Islam is essentially this-or-that, is just so much rhetoric.
Yes, it's time to move past this argument. It's a myth that there is a tiny group of extremists who are effing up the whole religion. That's just not true, it's a Western concept because we can't understand that anyone would not be plural like us. Further, it doesn't really matter if there are peaceful muslims because there are enough non-peaceful muslims who are causing deaths daily in the name of the theology.

So, let's move on to something way more interesting. For the sake of conversation and keeping the word "muslims" out which only leads to religious argument we will refer to Islamic violence and Islamists in the future to distinguish...ok?

There are 57 OIC countries. The organization of Islamic countries fall under one main leader which is Saudi. Mecca and Medina are in Saudi where they have also built a clocktower to take over Greenwich Mean Time eventually and be the center controlling factor of the earth as Allah has granted.

57 Countries start in Northwest Africa, include those along the Mediterranean (sp?), the Middle East of course, and then through Southeast Asia where Thailand has to fight Islamic violence daily. Then Indonesia has the greatest population and that leaks into Australia where there are problems with Islamic violence daily also. Turkey is an Islamic country and a gateway to EU. Chechnya is an Islamic border with Russia. More on the migration later.

The Ottoman empire, the Caliphate was one unit pre-WWI. The independence of the different countries didn't break up the unit, it only scattered it and now the unit is coming together again. This unit has a distinct Sharia Law which dictates how the population should live 24/7.

Imagine the loss of freedom if we had to conform to that lifestyle. Everything you eat, how you bathe, what you talk about, how you dress, how you wear your hair, what pets you have, public displays of affection are all regulated by the government. And enforced by police. That is not anything like Western... so we have to accept this difference before we can understand the dangers.

With me so far? Comments?
 
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